Sometimes strength training is like broccoli.
I remember the first President Bush (George H.W.) said his mother used to make him eat broccoli and now that he was President, he didn’t have to eat it anymore – or something like that.
For me, the Get Up is President Bush’s broccoli.
I HATE it.
With a passion.
Personally, not professionally. Professionally, I think everyone should be doing them, and most of my clients do them or variations or parts of the GU.
But honestly, I am sick and tired of hearing how wonderful they are – how beneficial they are – how transformative they are. When I was doing the Kettlebell Secrets calls, I thought I was going to have to kill one of my fellow instructors if I heard another answer to any given question as, “Swings and Get Ups.” (I think it’s obvious by now that I love double kettlebell work…) It even became a running joke as I received several emails about “Swings and Get Ups” being the answer to any question asked!
Look, Get Ups are fine, great, and dandy for my clients and everybody else in the world, but not for me.
In that lunge position – any lunge position – my hips just don’t know where they should be. My pelvis goes one way, my hips go another, my lumbar spine a third. And it’s not even predictable between sides. Each hip wants to do it’s own thing. My crazy left hip, the one with all the damage, but rarely any symptoms, never wants to get into the posterior hip capsule. My right hip, well, it still hasn’t figured out what it’s doing. It drives me crazy and tests my patience to the limit.
(I can squat great and do pistols just dandy, but lunge, yeah, not-so-much…)
The only way I can justify doing Get Ups, is because I know they’re like broccoli – no matter how much I dislike them, they are one of the best things I can do for my body.
Last night, I only did the Get Up to the Lunge position. (I did something stupid on Tuesday and was paying for it all day yesterday and still paying for it today.) That was pretty much all I could do from a total body point of view. Sure, I could’ve done some upper body work, but that’s pretty boring…
But it got me thinking (maybe I should call this post, “A Tale of Two Dans”) about an article I read some years ago by Dan John. In it, he referenced legendary Olympic wrestler, Dan Gable, who said, “If something’s worth doing, then do it every day” – or something along those lines. (Interesting side note: I saw Coach Gable at the 1998 Midlands Wrestling Tournament where he was being honored. He could barely walk and his body was pretty twisted up. I later learned that he went on to have multiple joint replacements, including at least a hip and a knee…) Maybe that should be rephrased to “if anything is worth doing, and doesn’t cause pain or harm, then do it every day.”
So I got to thinking, what if I either start or finish my training sessions with different parts or even the whole Get Up? What would happen? Is it worth a shot?
The reason I ask is because my good friend, Jeff O’Connor, Sr RKC, and former National Champion Strongman, has virtually transformed his performance and function (he’s running again for the first time in 20 years do to a bum knee) from basically “owning” the Get Up. Might be something to that.
Well, I’ll get back to you on that. Because after yesterday’s little foray into the GU, I feel pretty darn, well, energized. (I was playing around with the 24kg, 32kg, and 40kg…)
(If you want a GREAT in depth resource on the Get Up, check out Brett Jones’ and Gray Cook’s, Kettlebells From the Ground Up: The Kalos Sthenos. In it these two performance fanatics break down the Get Up and all its wonderful benefits for not only strength, but here’s the weird thing: Health. Imagine that… Hmm…)
But again, I’m thinking, maybe the sign of training maturity (finally?) is doing what you know you should be doing, even though you can’t stomach it…
Maybe like broccoli?